Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl has been through a hell of a lot: getting paralyzed and becoming the hacker hero Oracle in 1986, only to get retconned in DC Comics’ New 52 in 2011, regaining the use of her legs. Not to mention her brother being a serial murderer and her family falling apart.
So, DC is giving her a break. Starting with Batgirl #35, we’ll see the lighter, younger, more hipster-y adventures of Barbara Gordon—a redux complete with a whole new creative team and a much more practical (but thrift store-approved) costume.
To clarify: This is a redesign for the retconned Barbara Gordon—meaning that she’s still separate from the Babs who became Oracle after The Killing Joke. Instead, she’s continuing on in her current retcon, with a lighter tone, two new writers, and a new artist.
MTV News spoke with the folks in question: Longtime friends Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher are co-writing, their second collaboration after last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Brahman. And in a delightful turn of events, the artist illustrating our new Babs is herself a Babs—newbie artist Babs Tarr.
And where is Gail Simone in all this? She’s got a new project with DC that will be announced soon. While she hasn’t released an official statement, she did retweet Batman writer Scott Snyder’s kind words celebrating her run on Batgirl.
Here’s the official synopsis for the new run:
Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes… so when a fire destroys everything she owned, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life—and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl… and discovers all-new threats preying on her peers!
It’s a re-invention of Batgirl from the boots up, by the incredible creative team of Cameron Stewart (Batman Inc.), Brenden Fletcher (Wednesday Comics), and rising star artist Babs Tarr!
While it’s unclear if DC will address gentrification the way Clint Barton’s adventures in Bed-Stuy do in Marvel’s Hawkeye series, we’re nonetheless intrigued by seeing Babs among her peers, as hipster-y as they may seem.
In fact, Fletcher describes our heroine as a very interesting blend of several modern, much-loved TV series:
Our take on Batgirl mixes the best elements of Veronica Mars and Girls, with a dash of Sherlock thrown in for good measure.
We’re just hoping that her relationship with dad Jim Gordon hews more to Veronica teaming up with her awesome sheriff dad than Hannah Horvath leeching her parents for rent money.
Then again, Fletcher and Stewart have teased that there won’t be an avalanche of DC universe cameos. “Aside from someone with whom Barbara was formerly close,” Stewart says, “and is forced to deal with in an uncomfortable circumstance, it’s a clean break.” So, don’t expect Poison Ivy or Dick Grayson to drop into Burnside anytime soon.
In fact, they’re really stressing the lightness of the series:
She’s leaving it all behind her. We really wanted to make this a book with a light tone, of fun and adventure and mystery, and let the rest of the Bat-family deal with the darkness. She’s got problems, and conflict, and enemies to fight, but our priority was to make this a really fun, rollicking read.
In continuing both the “leaving it all behind her” and hipster themes, Babs completely revamps her costume, mostly with thrift store finds. Here’s a much more detailed look at Tarr’s design:
Babs, you had us at “leather jacket – NOT spandex!” Stewart and Fletcher also mentioned that their ideal song for Batgirl jumping rooftops is “212” by Azealia Banks, so now that’s stuck in our heads.
Photos: DC Comics